Skip to comments.Forget Christie; Let's Talk about Big Fat Traffic Jams: NY/NJ always treat drivers with contempt
Posted on 01/12/2014 7:01:25 AM PST by SeekAndFind
One unmentioned irony of the Chris Christie road-revenge scandal is that the powers-that-be finally found a traffic jam they didn't like. Now, don't get me wrong, having always lived in the NY metropolitan area and often having wanted to split a vein while in the midst of the NY/NJ road experience, I think that anyone who purposely exacerbates traffic problems should be confined to a small cell and forced to listen 24/7/365 to Nancy Pelosi's nails-on-blackboard speeches. But I have to tell you: it has always seemed that NY and NJ public officials have utter disregard - if not contempt - for drivers in their states. In fact, their policies have long had the effect of exacerbating traffic problems.
Consider a common NY/NJ driving experience. You're traveling north on the New Jersey Turnpike - passing exits 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 - and then all of a sudden the road transitions into a parking lot that you're trapped in for a hour and a half. The cause?
The turnpike toll plaza some miles ahead.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
I don’t know of a major bridge in the country that doesn’t have lanes shut down a good bit of the time.
all of them-suddenly?
I haven't driven across (or wasted hours trying to) the GW in more than 25 years, and I didn't know that the tolls had gotten that high. So a reasonable question to ask might be, "where is all that money going?" Construction on the bridge began in October 1927. Surely, it must be paid off by now.
We are never going to hear the end of this which is why it came out in the first place. NSA tracks all emails...The Dear Leader is feeling the heat from Robert Gates and Benghazi, problem solved! Time to play golf and relax. How do you feel about your pal Barry Soetoro now Tubby?
Does anyone west of the Delaware Water Gap really give a tinker’s? All this furor is merely further evidence of our NY-centric media. Forgiddaboutit.
1. The $40+ in toll costs along the Turnpike, I-95 and the GWB in New Jersey and New York City are paid if someone drives the entire length of the route between Delaware and New York City. So let's give New Jersey some credit here. New Jersey is always one of the worst states in the U.S. when it comes to Federal taxes paid compared to Federal expenditures in the state, and the state's elected officials have figured out a way to get some of that money back from people in other states.
2. People who live in New Jersey and commute to work in New York pay income taxes in New York, not New Jersey (technically they are taxed in both states, but they get a credit against their New Jersey taxes for the taxes they pay in New York, so they owe $0 to New Jersey). So these people use public resources in New Jersey, but don't actually pay very much for them. Tolls are one of the few public expenses that these residents actually pay.
3. Comparing the duration of a construction project in the 1930s to a project in 2014 is ridiculous. The biggest challenge with something like the I-287 project that the author mentions is that this was a major rehabilitation and upgrade of an existing roadway. This means that the project had to be done while the roadway was kept open for traffic -- which dictates specialized construction schedules and limits the duration of time when certain things can be done (try lowering beams into place on an overpass while traffic is moving underneath it, for example). I could shrink the 10-year construction timeline for the I-287 down to a year and a half, if you'd let me. But I would have to close one of the busiest stretches of highway in the NYC metropolitan area for 18 months.
Judge Pierro at her best:
The ongoing project to replace the entire upper level roadway decking -- which began in 2012 and is supposed to be completed next year -- cost $82 million by itself.
The next major project to be undertaking on the bridge will involve the rehabilitation of the cable support system and the replacement of all the suspender cables (there are about 600 of them). The price tag on that project is approximately $1 billion.
You don't just build a bridge and walk away from it. It costs a fortune to keep it in good working order when it's more than 80 years old.
Don’t forget the “Stimulus”; The next few years were filled with lane closures and traffic jams on highways all across the country. They all had signs bragging that the work was funded by the stimulus, so at least we knew why we were sitting there for hours. 20 miles of lane closures and maybe 50 feet of actual construction. If the people of Fort Lee can sue for this CF, then we should all be able to sue Peloser and Obummer for that mess.
One unmentioned irony of the Chris Christie road-revenge scandal is that the powers-that-be finally found a traffic jam they didn't like... it has always seemed that NY and NJ public officials have utter disregard - if not contempt - for drivers in their states. In fact, their policies have long had the effect of exacerbating traffic problems. Consider a common NY/NJ driving experience. You're traveling north on the New Jersey Turnpike - passing exits 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 - and then all of a sudden the road transitions into a parking lot that you're trapped in for a hour and a half. The cause? The turnpike toll plaza some miles ahead.It's a shame about that gun to their heads, forcing them to live in that toilet. Thanks SeekAndFind.
Even emails and texts now flow to me in my car and when I'm sitting in traffic, I can get on top of that work flow as well. Bluetooth technology has gotten to the point where I can have these messages read to me and then verbally respond and have them converted to text and sent out.
Even when there's no immediate work to be done, I have over 100 commercial free stations (Sirius XM) to listen to or I can listen to my personal music collection, have books read to me, or discover new music through Pandora - all in my car.
It's at the point now where I actually get a little bummed when the traffic starts moving again and I have to shift my attention back to driving.
RE: Never thought I’d say this but when I am working, I actually appreciate traffic jams or sitting on airplanes/trains. Due to technology, I have the ability to get my work done during these down times
Please don’t tell me you’re actually DOING OFFICE WORK when you’re driving in a traffic jam...
I know, I know. People expect me to solemnly grit my teeth in a traffic jam with my hands at the 10 and 2 o'clock position on the steering wheel, intently watching the vehicle in front of me.
However, I confess. The emails are flying, the phone calls are being made and I've been known to actually open a spreadsheet on my tablet on the grid-locked expressway to get some more serious work done!
Meanwhile, in Hawaii, the residents surrounding Oprah’s Hawaiian Mansion are fit to be tied because BOTUS, (Beard of the United States), gets the traffic all bunged up every time she and her gal pals go out for ice cream.
It seems to me, that any politician that uses the power of government to punish those they disagree with, whether it be sicking the IRS on conservative groups, or punishing the citizens of a rival's city by shutting down bridge lanes, is not worthy of my support.
I think COTUS is more appropriate. I can’t explain any further without being banned.
In fact, it ought to be AHOTUS rather than POTUS.
You can’t get much closer than COTUS and AHOTUS, that’s for sure.
I think Christie is as unprincipled as it gets as well as gluttonous and greedy. He caved into the liberal agenda whenever it could help him get more votes in his deep blue state. He wasted money on a special election for Corey Booker to make sure Booker’s supporters didn’t show up on the same election day as his. He wasn’t satisfied with just a win, he wanted a blowout win, where he could gorge his appetite for votes the same way he gorges on food.
You can be sure there were many more acts of political revenge taken against those who didn’t support him, this is just the first one that went bad and that we found about. The greed for votes went so far that they didn’t care if they stepped on the lives of average citizens in their efforts. This is a truly dark and malicious example of corrupt, power-mad politicians.
I’m not saying Christie knew specifically what was done here. He probably gave himself plausible deniability and didn’t plan out specifics. But his failure to uncover the facts since the lane closing story broke 3 months ago, and 2 people already resigned over it before Christie’s firings this week, until the media discovered the smoking gun e-mails, suggests that he knew what he was going to find out if he really investigated and looked the other way.
And RINO-loving FOX News constantly referring back to Obama scandals during this is complete spin. That would be like Obama saying we shouldn’t talk about his scandals because Bush’s Katrina was worse. These are childish attempts at misdirection. Christie’s scandal is new news now and this is the time to talk about it.
Wow, you’re a great apologist for big government. You ought to get a job working for Obama.
It costs money to keep roads in working order too, but most roads in the US don’t have tolls. That’s what taxes in general are for.
Also, the GWB generates $1.5 million in revenue a DAY. That’s more than a half a billion a year. That dwarfs the costs you mentioned, which, by the way, aren’t incurred every year. So stuff it.
The George Washington Bridge is owned and operated by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey -- a bi-state agency that was created under a Federal mandate back after World War I to eliminate legal problems at the time that were associated with port commerce in New York harbor and other transportation issues between the two states. The problem is that the Port Authority of NY & NJ has no taxation authority. It does, however, have the ability to collect revenue from people and businesses who use their facilities.
One very positive aspect of the agency is that it is fully self-funded and doesn't get a dime of taxpayer money (except in very limited circumstances involving channel dredging that comes under the oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Another benefit of being a self-funded authority is that it has the ability to float its own bonds to pay for major projects.
A huge chunk of its revenue goes to financing bonds for major projects all over the region. The Port Authority of NY & NJ even helps fund projects in either state that don't come under its jurisdiction -- as long as the state government that requests the funding can make a compelling case that the infrastructure is critical to the PA's mission and/or its facilities. The PA, for example, is paying about $1.8 billion for three major construction projects on NJDOT bridges and highways, including the rehabilitation of the Pulaski Skyway the new Wittpen Bridge (Route 7) over the Hackensack River, and the reconstruction of Route US-1&9 in Jersey City.
Also, the GWB generates $1.5 million in revenue a DAY. Thats more than a half a billion a year. That dwarfs the costs you mentioned, which, by the way, arent incurred every year. So stuff it.
See previous details about bonding for major projects. The Port Authority of NY & NJ is currently on the hook for about $550M-$600M in bond payments every year -- which means they have to budget for that much money in expenditures (more than they collect from the GWB in toll revenue) before they spend even one dollar for their own operating expenses.
I hope this has been an informative post for you. (And no, I don't work for that agency.)
But I'm also not delusional enough to think that the common complaints about congestion, construction duration, etc. would disappear if GE Capital or Halliburton owned and operated the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) in New York.
The problem with the scenario you presented is that Christie was so far ahead of his half-@ssed opponent in that race that he didn't need endorsements from Democrats to help him win the election. And he sure didn't need the endorsement of some small-town mayor who nobody ever heard of until the e-mail and text messages released last week included a reference to him as a "little Serbian." ROFL.
Christie did say he was trying to run up the score in his press conference.
That’s why I referenced his gluttonous outlook. He didn’t need the surplus votes, but he wanted them anyway. He wanted a blow-out win. And it’s not hard to understand why when the media started pushing him harder for president based on the fact that he got a blow-out win.
The fact that they did this to a single mayor who doesn’t seem that important tells you they must have been doing this type of thing to EVERYBODY. Although perhaps not in ways that would’ve had such a blowback effect on the public itself.
The difference is that in NY and NJ the bridges cost $15 to cross. Talk about highway robbery.